Christian Johnson

Christian J.

North Hollywood, CA
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Christian teaches



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Christian delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 10+

Teaching since:

Hello prospective student! I am a drummer, percussionist and producer with nearly 25 years of playing and teaching experience in the New York and Los Angeles areas. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music Management from William Paterson University in NJ with a playing concentration in classical and orchestral percussion, although ROCKING OUT on the drum set is my real love.

I studied drum set with Tommy Igoe, bandleader and best-selling author of Groove Essentials and Great Hands For a Lifetime. I currently play in local L.A. bands Little Galaxies and Glowbird, as well as around town wherever I am hired. I have performed live with well-known pop stars as well as provided incidental music for music videos.

In addition to that, I am an avid songwriter and producer and I really look forward to incorporating electronic music into our lessons together.

In my lessons, I will start with a few custom lesson plans to gauge your skill level before moving on to method books. For beginning students, I like to focus on what makes music universally fun. We work on listening to music, feeling the pulse, and recognizing the rhythm. From there, I will introduce you to music notation and what it means when translated to sound. I also try to plant the seed of good technique by focusing on posture and stick handling.

As you become more advanced, I like to focus heavily on reading and developing playing techniques. At this point, I introduce a few method books for content to practice. We'll get started with Stick Control by George L. Stone to develop a foundation in dexterity. From there, we will use Tommy Igoe's Great Hands For A Lifetime to further develop healthy playing technique in a system based on rudimental drumming. Having been a student of Tommy's, I am uniquely capable of teaching this method to you.

On drum set, I typically start with Joel Rothman's Basic Rock Beats before moving on to John Lombardo's Rockin' Bass Drum. These two books cover many variations on the rock beat that are suitable for almost any playing style or occasion. As you develop into a proficient intermediate drummer, we will start to work through Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials books for learning different genres and styles, with the focus being on groove, sound and musicality. I love getting to this stage in our face-to-face lessons because I can record you playing along to the songs in my studio.

At this point, you'll be able to handle mostly any reading and playing situation, so we may move on to more advanced studies like independence, polyrhythmic beats, odd time signatures, and linear time playing. From there, you're only limited by your imagination and desire to keep going!

I look forward to starting this journey with you!

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Mar 2017 - Present
Little Galaxies

Little Galaxies is a Venice Beach-based psychedelic-influenced rock band. We recently released a single in 2018 and are releasing a music video for it in mid-2019. We have another single planned for April 2019 and a full album release scheduled for Fall 2019.

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Jan 2017 - Present

I am available for live performance and session work on a work-for-hire basis. Most recently I have played with The Ray-Band (a local cover band) and with singer-songwriter Daniel Jimenez Afanador.

Jan 2012 - Present
Glowbird (rock band)

Glowbird is an L.A.- based rock band, playing shows in the immediate area. We are currently writing music for a single release this year.

Drums and Percussion
Sep 2012 - Sep 2012
Melody Thornton

In 2012, I was asked to put together a band to perform a live set with Melody Thornton of The Pussy Cat Dolls on That Grape Juice's "The Splash". We played three songs, including "Sweet Vendetta", "Lipstick & Guilt", and "Smoking Gun". The performance was recorded live in a studio and is still available on YouTube.

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Military Drums on "Part Of Me"
Mar 2012 - Mar 2012
Katy Perry

I was asked to play military-style drums for Katy Perry's Part of Me music video. In the original version I was given a credit during the video, but the drums and the credit have since been removed from the video.

Drum Line Instructor
Jul 2003 - Aug 2005
Mahwah High School Marching Band

I took over instruction of the poorly-managed Mahwah drum line prior to the band's 2003 season. The line included middle school students as well as high school students, so there were challenges in creating repertoire that was skill-appropriate across the age ranges. I quickly developed routines and cadences (which I am told are still being used to this day) and tried to instill a sense of pride and tradition into the drum line. I wrote the drum solo that year, including some very difficult passages, which the players absolutely devoured - proving to themselves and others that they COULD be an elite unit. I am really proud of my work with these students.

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Bachelor of Music in Music Management
Aug 2000 - May 2004
William Paterson University


Fluent / Native Proficiency


#42 "Out In Control" - 100 Best Songs of 2018
Dec 2018
Big Smile Magazine
Greatest Hits... This Week (Vol. 109)
Nov 2018
Hot 103.9 Local Artist Spotlight
Oct 2018
Hot 103.9 FM
2000 Scholarship Recipient
Jun 2000
American Federation Of Musicians Local 248


Mar 2011

ASCAP is a membership association of more than 625,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We uphold the value of our members’ music, and help them thrive alongside the businesses that use their music every day.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America
Nov 2000

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) is an American collegiate social[1] fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men "who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America."

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Aug 1994

Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world. Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members' opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa.

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Photos & Videos

A sample lesson on paradiddles around the drum set in beginner, intermediate and advanced variations.
Live with Little Galaxies at The Satellite

Live with Little Galaxies at The Viper Room

Live with Glowbird at El Cid

Filling in with The Ray-Band at Fox & Hounds

Live with Little Galaxies at "Westside Revival" at The Townhouse, Venice

Video shoot for "Out In Control" with Little Galaxies

Live with Melody Thornton

A live performance video with my band Glowbird.

3 Reviews

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Timothy Apr 20, 2019
Drum · In studio

Christian Johnson is one of the finest percussion instructors I have ever known. He worked on our marching band staff for several years serving as the drumline instructor. Thanks to his patience, professionalism, and wonderful personality, the drumline grew to unseen levels and helped thrust the band into one of the finest in the state for many years.

I strongly recommend Christian Johnson for any type of percussion teaching.

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Reagan Mar 14, 2019
Drum · In home

I started a bit behind the other kids in elementary school band. Chris was the drum instructor for the high school marching band at the time and my band teacher highly recommended him for private lessons.

Chris was able to get me caught up to the other drummers within a couple months. I was finally able to read sheet music fluently and began to be assigned more advanced parts to play in the school band. Each week Chris gave me homework assignments such as working on different rudiments or reading and playing different types of percussion sheet music (bells, xylophone, etc). My lessons with a Chris paid off over the years, as I was able to join the high school marching band as a middle schooler and went on to win accolades for my drumming in the school plays. Everything I learned and accomplished most definitely stemmed from my lessons with Chris!

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David D. Mar 7, 2019
Drum · In studio

Christian is a very knowledgeable and patient drum instructor. As a music teacher and producer myself, I like to have a good understanding of instruments I don't play such as drums, and Christian has helped me have a much deeper understanding of drumming techniques, concepts, exercises, and styles. He is quite versatile, has a great understanding of music, and is a very effective communicator. I highly recommend!

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